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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Advice for landlords

An unfurnished property will often attract a different type of tenant to a furnished property. Whether your rental property is furnished or unfurnished will also have an impact on your tax obligations.

A security deposit belongs to a tenant. You should look at this money in the same way that you would an insurance policy. You have no right to the money unless you have suffered a financial loss which was caused by the tenant failing to do something that he or she was contractually or legally obliged to do.

You may be eligible for a grant for certain types of repairs. There are schemes available which will provide some assistance if you wish to make your home more energy efficient. If the council has issued a Statutory Notice against your property, you may be able to get a Repairs Grant from the Housing Executive.

While protected tenants have many of the same rights as other private tenants, they also have a number of additional rights. These are a right to succession and greater protection from possession action.

The council can issue a suitability notice if it believes that the HMO is not suitable for the number or type of occupants.

Rates can cause a huge headache for landlords and tenants. Make sure you understand who is responsible for paying these from the outset.

You'll need to establish a level of rent that is both attractive to tenants and covers your own expenditure on the property. When setting rents you should be realistic and remember that letting a property at a slightly reduced rent is more favourable than it sitting vacant on the market.

Your property is your tenants' home and you have a responsibility to keep them informed of any developments that may affect their ability to stay in that home. This includes informing your tenants if the property is subject to mortgage possession proceedings.

If you suspect that your tenant has abandoned the property, you should be very careful. You cannot regain vacant possession of the property without a court order. You may wish to seek legal advice in these circumstances to protect yourself against claims of illegal eviction.

It is much more difficult to gain vacant possession of a protected tenancy than it is an uncontrolled tenancy. This is because the tenant has greater rights to stay in the property and can only be evicted on certain grounds.

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